Week 16- Jan Brett (The Mitten and The Hat)

January 7, 2019 by Miss Morrison

Happy New Year, families! I hope you had a pleasant holiday season.

This week we officially begin an author study of Jan Brett. We read her delightful book The Gingerbread Baby last school week, but we get to learn more about her as an author and illustrator this week. We will be reading The Mitten.  It is a wonderful book for practicing sequencing/retelling. It is also a fabulous book for exploring strong word choice and shades of meaning. We use these skills when deciding how we want to describe something to another person. We want to use words that create clear pictures in people’s minds. We have another animal friend to help us practice this skill- Picturing Peacock. We will also be comparing The Mittento another of Jan Brett’s books, The Hat.

Several reading groups have been coming across occasions to use our helpful reading strategy friend Chunky Monkey.  A good time to use Chunky Monkey is when we come across a long word we aren’t sure about, such as ketchup. We can look at this big word and see if there are any smaller chunks that we know. Within the word “ketchup” we can find the secret story “ch” and the sight word “up”. These pieces then help us sound out the whole word and make it make sense in our sentence.

Speaking of Secret Stories… Our Parent Reading Night is fast approaching. It will be on January 15th from 5:30 to 6:30 and is an adults only occasion. Consider making a fun night of it with dinner out afterwards. This will be a chance for me to share tips, tricks, and grade level guidelines with you. This will include sharing the specific Secret Stories with you- they are so useful. I would also like to share a couple of quick sight word games with you and provide an opportunity for you to make your own to bring home with you (no artistic handiness required). 

For said Make and Take, I would greatly appreciate contributions of cleaned out, non sharp edged soup cans. We could also use some of the large, tongue depressor size craft sticks.

We will return to our focus on reading nonfiction texts in order to gain information. Our writing focus will be on gathering facts and recording them in our own words to make an informative report on foxes.   

In math, we will continue our unit on measurement. One tricky thing that can pop up while we are comparing things by weight is that larger does not always mean heavier (it often does, but not always). Making comparisons is a very important part of strengthening these concepts.

Some upcoming dates to remember-

No school on January 21st for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  

No school on February 18th for President’s Day.



10 minutes each night. Reading can include reading stories, the poems in the binder, and sight words.


Remember, math should be done for 10 minutes.

Making comparisons with real life items is an engaging and valuable way to practice these skills. Your child (along with family members) can gather items together to compare. When making these comparisons it is also valuable to encourage your child to use what we have been practicing in class with our Habits of Discussion and Format Matters. This means that they should:

* Look at the person they are speaking to.

* Use their partner’s name.

* Use complete sentences.

* Use specific vocabulary.

* Ask questions of their partner.

For example: “Mom, my stuffed animal is heavier than your book.” and “Dad, which is longer the straw or the pencil?”

If you email me by Wednesday night to let me know your child has been using these traits to compare real life objects at home, They will get to move their name up a color.

Optional IXL objectives:

This week your child can explore any of the following objectives in whatever amount/order seems most appropriate for them.

  1. S.1 Long and short
  2. S.2 Tall and short
  3. S.3 Light and heavy
  4. G.3 Fewer and more – compare by counting
  5. G.5 Fewer, more, and same